What is a website assessment? Do I need one?

website assessment checklistFor businesses interested in a new website, it’s valuable to understand the big picture of how (and why) your website can be improved. The other main reason to perform a website assessment is ongoing, or iterative improvement of your website. Many website owners perform regular, monthly (or even more often) assessments to ensure their website is achieving the best it can.

Whether your company is building a whole new website or seeking to regularly improve its online presence, website assessments are a must. Then you can best understand your website’s strengths and build on them. This article offers the six areas of assessment that offer the best bang for your buck and time.

Six items to include in a website assessment

There are six areas in a thorough website assessment and gap analysis. To establish a website’s strengths and weaknesses you should perform an assessment. With knowledge, a business is better positioned to expand on its strengths while developing its weaknesses.

These are:

  1. Search engine optimization (keywords, technical SEO & schema)
  2. Content (Creative copy, imagery & visual) Address thin content
  3. Data analytics (KPI metrics)
  4. User experience (Frontend design and pathways)
  5. Website performance (Backend processes + core web vitals) page speed
  6. Conversions (optimization opportunities)

#1 Search engine optimization (SEO)

Determine keyword strength

An SEO analysis determines and documents the keywords for which you are currently ranking. You’ll learn their placement in the search engine results page (SERP) and which pages are ranking well for those keywords. From there we can see which important keywords or keyword phrases need more support.

Assess code/keyword best practices

Strong keywords being used correctly in your website’s metadata plays a large role in being visible and found in search engine results. A good website assessment will include a review of how keywords are used in website metadata.

#2 Content (Creative copy, imagery & visual)

There are several areas to explore within a website content assessment. These are:

  • Content intent. Google’s SEO algorithm ranks a content’s intent very high when they serve up search results for queries. The questions we would ask are:
    • Does your copy match the searcher’s intent? Try to identify your searcher’s intent.
    • Does the buyer’s journey match copy intent? Ensure content meets various stages of the buyer’s journey.
  • Thin content. Do pages have value? Since Google’s Panda algorithm update (2011) Google has become much better at understanding valuable content. Scraped and duplicate content are considered thin content as well
  • Content credibility. Are references cited? Are there typos or grammatical errors?

#3 Data analytics

A solid review of a website’s analytics offers terrific insights. It’s important to understand the basics, like general visitor and page stats. Go further and study conversion rates, page funnels, exit, and entrance pages. Understanding and documenting key performance indicators (KPI) trends will support many concepts and decisions intrinsic to a website assessment.

#4 User experience (UX)

According to Peter Morville, UX includes 7 components: useful, useable, desirable, valuable, findable, credible, and accessible. A great website assessment includes a UX review. Is the website user-friendly? Can website visitors find their way around to easily accomplish goals? Are call-to-actions obvious and using keywords appropriately? Is the UX contributing to a high bounce rate? These are just some of the questions to answer.

#5 Website performance

The way your website performs is critical to your business’s success. It’s the rare website visitor that will wait for your website to load. The reality is a slow website negatively impacts the user experience. Website visitors think of slow websites as less credible. While page load time has always been important, with the release of Google’s Core Web Vitals in the summer of 2021, your website’s performance has become increasingly important for optimizing your search ranking. A good website assessment includes documenting your website’s performance.

#6 Conversion rates

All website assessments must include an analysis of conversion rates and landing page quality. Knowing the rate at which website visitors are achieving desired activities is the first rule for improving conversion rates. This seems simple enough, yet many companies do not track their landing pages’ conversion rates. Tracking your company’s conversion rates is one of the most important metrics for understanding business profitability. Some common strategies for improving conversion rates are limiting the number of fields in a form, making sure there is only one call to action per landing page, and

Website assessment & optimization

For those businesses that perform monthly website assessments, their goal is ongoing website optimization in a continual improvement loop. These websites get improved website visibility in search results, which drives better and more qualified web traffic. Ultimately, improved user experience results in more conversions and increased revenue.

To schedule your website assessment contact Keystone.